Just a day after I had questioned whether or not the Chicago Cubs truly busted out of their four-game mini-skid, Lou Piniella's boys answered the call once again. The strong Jason Marquis showed up tonight, pitching 6 2/3 quality innings -- giving up just five hits and an unearned run as the Cubs knocked off the formerly red-hot Colorado Rockies by a 6-2 score.
Jacque Jones, once again provided the offense: going 3-for-5 with a double, a homer, and 2 RBI and he now has 7 hits and 6 RBI in the first two games of the series. Kendall also turned in a three-hit game for the second day in a row and the Cubs are starting to get some offensive production from guys that didn't start the year all that well.
It's good that we're getting some pop from guys that we didn't expect that we'd be getting it from, but you wonder how long it will last. Granted, Kendall and Jones have had very good track records throughout their careers, but looked like totally different players in the first four months of the year. Hopefully, Ramirez will be healthy and Lee will start to swing the bat again by the time Jones and Kendall regress to more expectable performances.
Even though the Rockies never pulled within three runs after the fourth inning, the bullpen made the game interesting. The Rockies were able to load the bases in both the 7th and 8th innings, but escaped having allowed minimal damage and preserving the lead. Bob Brenly brought up a point that I mentioned in my post after yesterday's game: why did Wood, Marmol, and Howry throw in an eight-run ballgame?
Yes, we did end up squeaking a victory out of today's game but the unfortunately, the effects linger a little past today's game. Marmol, almost undoubtedly, would be unavailable in tomorrow's game and Lou Piniella would probably like to try to stay away from Howry as well. This leaves just Wood and Dempster as the reliable arms late in the game, meaning Rich Hill must deliver another deep start in order to keep guys like Wuertz, Gallagher, and Eyre out of big situations.
I just don't understand why Lou didn't use the combination of Lilly and Gallagher to pitch all nine innings in Thursday's series opener.